Friday, 21 June 2013

Private firms asked to bid for NHS work for next 3 years

A report by Helen Puttick in The Herald today says that private firms are being invited to bid for NHS work for the next three years... "days after health secretary Alex Neil described the use of the independent sector 'as a temporary phenomenon'."

This followed news that health board spending on private healthcare went up by nearly 60% last year.

UNISON's Willie Duffy, lead organiser for health, is quoted in the Herald report, condemning the use of the private sector in this way. He said: "We should be investing in quality NHS services rather than pouring money into private healthcare.

“It is common sense that money going to pay to have these operations carried out privately would be better spent within the NHS.”

The Herald's editorial asks: "Can we rid NHS of private contractors?", pointing out that the Scottish Government, when the SNP came to power in 2007, said it would clamp down on NHS spending in the private sector.

UNISON Scotland says that a key factor is that the average number of available staffed beds in acute hospitals has fallen by 1400 since 2003, to 16,503 last year.

We warned about this over PFI contracts many years ago. In NHS Lothian they are desperately scrabbling for beds, yet we raised this at the time the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary PFI hospital was built.


No comments:

Post a Comment